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Denis Istomin: The Biofile

Istomin © Getty ImagesDenis Istomin began playing tennis thanks to his mother, Klaudiya.

Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin reveals his first tennis memory, his most painful moment, the three athletes he likes to follow and more for this Biofile with Scoop Malinowski...

First Tennis Memory: "When I came on the court with my mom (Klaudiya Istomina), she was coach. And I just take the racquet and go hit the ball on the wall. And I was like playing for two hours on the wall. That's my first memory of tennis."

Tennis Inspirations: "Everybody wants to be a good player, win a Grand Slam, be No. 1. So for me, the same."

Last Book Read: "Paulo Coelho The Alchemist."

Greatest Sports Moment: "I think the greatest moment - when I play first match in Grand Slam against Roger Federer (2006 Australian Open)."

Most Painful Moment: "I think it's my car accident (driving to Futures tournament in Tashkent in 2001). I was in hospital for three months and I have to stop playing tennis for two-and-a-half years." 

First Famous Tennis Player You Met Or Encountered: "It was Marat Safin and he was playing in Tashkent ATP tournament. I was small. I won junior tournament in Tashkent and he gave us the present."

Closest Tennis Friends: "Mikhail Elgin, Andrey Golubev."

Funniest Player Encountered: "Michael Llodra."

Strangest Match: "Actually it was the longest match in my career. I played the Ecuadorian guy (Nicolas) Lapentti in US Open. I beat him 7-6 in the fifth. The match was like only rallies and it was a tough, tough match for me. And I think, for me, it was the more unusual, normally I play not so long but with him I play for five hours. It was long match."

Current Car: "Actually I have a Peugeot 308 in Moscow now."

Favourite Sport Outside Tennis: "Soccer."

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: "Didier Drogba. I'd say Roger Federer. And I think Yelena Isinbayeva (Russian pole vaulter)."

People Qualities Most Admired: "I think it's good to be friendly, like open for everybody, and just talk with everybody. And be funny." 

Courtesy of Scoop Malinowski,

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